8th Grade Curriculum
What 8th Graders Will Learn
This core mathematics course teaches the fundamentals of algebraic concepts and skills through incremental development. Students learn to manipulate signed numbers and exponents, graph equations on the rectangular coordinate system, and factor quadratic equations that have real roots. In the fall semester, instruction covers algebraic properties, fractions, factoring, signed exponents, properties of equalities, solutions of single and multivariable equations, abstract fractions, and the slope-intercept formula. In the spring semester, students learn to factor quadratic equations, use the Pythagorean Theorem, derive an equation between two points, solve linear inequalities, factor binomials and trinomials, divide polynomials, simplify radical expressions, and manipulate scientific notation. Word problems include ratio/proportion, percentage, uniform motion, compound interest, and variation (indirect and indirect).
Students will build a basic knowledge bank to serve as a foundation for studies in succeeding history courses as well as other fields. Concepts of classical civilization such as prominent figures, daily life, literature, cultural ties, and others will be explored and mastered.
This General Science course is a study of the earth’s atmosphere and geology and the solar system and space. The physical science part of the course focuses on atomic theory, physical versus chemical changes, electricity, and magnetism. The emphasis in this course is hands-on: we’ll make a tube of hydrogen pop (chemistry) and create a motor that spins a fan and moves a small car (electricity). The ecology part of the course will focus on adaptations and interrelationships. The course is full of surprises, such as teaching that Northern Kentucky was once near the equator under a tropical sea (plate tectonics) and that we can create fun games that simulate real world ecology. We will learn the engineering skills to build and test a popsicle bridge and launch a water bottle rocket.
Reading and Language Arts
Reading and writing are taught as separate courses at this level. Reading focuses on an exploration of the written word. Students are guided in developing a reading habit, sampling fictional works from a range of authors and genre to develop a passion for reading. Rather than reading assigned texts, students choose their own books and read at their own pace. In addition, students read poetry and non-fiction articles to gain comprehension skills. Historical speeches are studied and recited. Students are encouraged to generate creative and informative writings based on their reading experience.
Writing focuses on the mastery of English grammar and composition. Beginning with simple sentence structure, students learn about parts of speech and usage including punctuation. Sentence diagramming is taught to further reinforce these grammatical concepts. Students produce a wide range of writing pieces including informational writing based on research. A focus is placed on writing for an audience with pieces submitted quarterly for writing contests and publication.
Each academic day, students participate in courses focused on one of the following important academic and life skills.
Oratory - Lyric Poetry
Introduction to elements of public speaking and skills. Students will practice memorization, utilizing poetry, both shorter works and longer stories. The year culminates with an Oratory Contest.
Each year, students will rotate through Art, Music, Dance, and Drama, advancing in their skills and studies.
Learning how to learn is crucial. Students begin their preparation for high school academics by reviewing and reinforcing skills such as note-taking, outlining, memorizing, and time management. They learn to use organizational aids such as calendars, planners, and binders. Students begin to learn research skills, such as the use of libraries and databases, and to correctly cite their sources. Students learn classroom etiquette and self-advocacy. Teachers use specific content areas to build skills.
Students learn tools to form healthy relationships with others, to manage stress, to build self-esteem, and to advocate for themselves. They learn about their roles as productive members of society and communities. They learn the principles and practical application of ethics.